Holographic Luke and
Lando in Skiff Disguise

The college bum is back with another Star Wars review - a double whammy tonight with Holographic Luke and Lando in his Skiff Disguise!  It's all yours, Sean!

Hasbro must be dealing with prequel fallout these days in the Saga line, since every new figure that’s been coming out is from the original trilogy. Well that and marketing tie-ins of course. The Clone Wars cartoon is still in recent memory, so you’ll find those figures on the shelves, but unless you’re at K.B. Toys, you’re going to be seeing nothing but A New Hope and Return of the Jedi figures, with an Empire Strikes Back wave coming in the near future. There ain’t any Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones stuff to be found most anywhere, except for a Jedi Council set or two on the bottom shelves. Of course this is probably because the original trilogy is finally coming to DVD this fall, albeit in their bastardized, unnecessary, “special” editions. Why Lucas? Why? 

Oh well, doesn’t matter. There’re toys to be sold to the hungry masses and Hasbro has begun milking the Return of the Jedi for their new releases. There’s some Endor stuff coming out later in the year, but for now we get the Jabba-related merchandise. As of this year, Hasbro has released two deluxe figures as well as seven basic figures related specifically to Jabba’s palace and sail barge. Two of the latest are Lando Calrissian, Jabba’s Sail Barge and the Holographic Luke Skywalker.

Packaging - **1/2
I’m looking forward to the retro black and silver packaging coming out with the original trilogy line later this year. After seeing the work done on the animated Clone Wars packaging, the blue and gold just doesn’t cut it anymore. The bubbles also seem to be made with cheaper plastic in some cases, leading to easily dented packages.

Sculpting - Lando: *** ½; Luke: ***
Lando is a very under-produced figure in the Star Wars line. The numbers of Luke’s, Leia’s, Han’s, Vader’s, and Chewie’s are all in the double digits when it comes to the main characters from the original trilogy. R2-D2, C-3PO, Yoda, and Obi-Wan may have lower numbers in their original trilogy versions but also show up in the prequels as well as in repacks. The older versions of Obi-Wan and Yoda only show up less than Lando in the entire modern line (1995 to the present). This is the first Saga Lando to be produced, leaving the older Obi-Wan, older Yoda, and Princess Leia as the only main characters left from the original trilogy to turn up in the Saga line. Of course that might not happen depending on how long Hasbro decides to keep the Saga line going, but there are versions of these figures planned under the original trilogy line coming out much later this year. Lando will get another shot in the Saga line in his general outfit before then. 

I have to say that this is a pretty good likeness of Billy Dee in his Skiff Guard togs. There’re some really nice wrinkles in the pants, especially around the bootstraps. The shoulder and chest armor have some nice texturing to give them a worn-in look. The side holster is done as part of the soft-sculpted skirt and works really well, especially with such a flat pistol to hold. The head sculpt is pretty damn close and has a decent expression. I can easily see Lando hanging out with the other guards while undercover and ordering a cold Colt 45 in Jabba’s bar at the end of the day.
The holographic Luke is the same exact sculpt as the Jabba’s Palace Luke, which is not a bad thing since it had one of the best Mark Hamill head sculpts to be found. However, the translucent plastic really obscures the detail found in the figure, so he looses half a star from my original review. 

Paint - Lando: ***; Luke: **
If it weren’t for the terrible slop around his bootstraps, I’d be tempted to bump Lando up a bit in this department. The cream shade of his pants, the metal tones of his armor, and the browns and gray of his upper body are close to perfect. The bootstraps wander off the sculpted lines and onto his pant legs everywhere, and that really takes him down.

I kind of reamed the Jabba’s Palace Luke in this category, since the only paint ops were on his head and most of them were messed up. Hasbro fares slightly better here by actually painting the hair all the way without leaving blank spots, but it still looks messy and has some weird blonde streaks. Overall, the eyes and hair just look a little strange on a translucent figure.

Articulation - Lando: ***; Luke: *** ½
Lando has ten points of articulation: a ball-ball joint head, shoulder cuts, elbow cuts, forearm cuts, a waist cut, and hip cuts. There’s a lot of poseability to be had in his upper body. He can assume all sorts of decent guarding poses. The left arm can be straightened out to hand by his side, but the right one can’t because of the sculpt. As usual some sort of lower body articulation, like knee joints, would have been good but he’s still a very serviceable figure.

Since Luke is the same sculpt as the Jabba’s Palace version, he also has the same fourteen points of articulation: a neck cut, shoulder cuts, elbow cuts, wrist cuts, a waist cut, hip cuts, swivel knees, and cuts at his boot-tops. 

He can affect all the same great poses as the regular figure, but you have to ask yourself how much action is a holograph going to see anyway? The angles of the cuts on the elbows are designed to work either bent or straight so that Luke can adopt both neutral and action poses. Just like the regular figure, the seams on the elbows just don’t look as good straightened out. The bicep seems to overlap a bit. The skirt also still limits the hip movement as well. 

Accessories - Lando: ** ½; Luke: **
As a holograph, there isn’t much for Luke to interact with, so Hasbro tossed in the unnecessary stand and the same repainted POTJ Ben Kenobi saber that came with the Jabba’s Palace version of Luke. The saber itself is okay, but has some slop on the rings with the black paint. Of course Hasbro has to taunt us by including the much better-looking Jedi Luke saber in the card’s photo art, just like they did with the Jabba’s Palace figure.
The weapon just seems a tad silly, but what else could have they included? Well in the holograph that R2-D2 projected for Jabba, Luke’s wearing his saber hilt on his belt. A removable peg hilt would have been nice, especially for all the customizers out there. 

Lando fairs better in quantity, but not quality. He comes with a stand, his helmet, a blaster pistol, and his vibro-axe. The helmet looks nice and fits his head rather well but it’s entirely sculpted from soft plastic/rubber and I fear that it could take damage with repeated wearing. The stand is what it is.

The blaster pistol is the same one that came with the Jabba’s Palace Luke, but cast in black with no paint ops. The sculpt is pretty accurate but the small handle and large trigger guard make it hard to hold. However, it does look nice in its holster.

The vibro-axe has got to be a new low for Hasbro in the accessory department. Not only is the weapon cast in flimsy, easily bendable plastic, but the main shaft of the axe is thinner than most toothpicks. I was able to bend mine so that each end would touch. Hell, I’m sure I could tie it into a knot if I wanted. Of course, I feel that if I were to try that one too many times, the thing would tear in half. That’s right –not snap, tear. Of course it’s also a solid black with no paint ops either. Ugh. When the original weapons from the vintage figure are better than the new one, you know you’re in trouble.

Value - Lando: *** ½; Luke: ** ½
Even with the crummy weapons, I had no second thoughts about snapping Lando up for $4.99 at the local Target. Luke is basically the same figure as the Jabba’s Palace version, but with fewer accessories and less display options, so he takes a hit. You shouldn’t have to go through too much trouble to find these guys in the real world for that price. I’ve seen them at target, Fred Meyers, and K-Mart. has had both of them in a few times at $7.99 a pop, but they sell out quickly. Keep your eyes open. Cloud City has them both on pre-order for $8.99 for C-7 or C-8 cards, and $9.99 for C-9 grade cards. Planet Action Figure has them in a pre-sell deal with J’Quille and Rappertunie for $34.00. Ebay. Need I say more? 

Durability/Quality: ** ½ 
Lando’s pretty solid, but his accessories aren’t going to last long with repeated use. Luke has the same problems as the solid version: the elbow joints are really easy to pull out of his upper arms. 

Overall - Lando: ***; Luke: ** ½
Lando by himself is an extremely solid figure. Not only does he have a great sculpt, but he can also hold some pretty good poses. He’s definitely a worthy addition to any Jabba diorama. Now saying that, one might ask why I only gave him three stars? The only reason has to do with his accessories. If it weren’t for the poor quality of his weapons, I could have easily given him a bump up to three and a half.  

Of course the bigger questions might be with Luke’s score. I essentially gave the same figure three and a quarter stars in my Jabba’s Palace Luke review a little while back. Well there are many factors involved. While the figure itself is pretty good from a sculpting and articulation angle, it still has bad paint ops. The original version came with a blaster pistol, hooded cloak, a stand, and a lightsaber. This one comes with just a stand and the reused Obi-Wan saber. Basically it’s a total repackaged, stripped down version of a figure still on the shelves, and I think that really hits the value department. Also, this is a figure that is so scene specific, that it’s harder to apply to other dioramas –unless you want to do one that doesn’t mimic a film scene. 

The biggest blow to this version is whether this figure was really necessary to begin with. The answer is no and I think that it was just a quick, cost-saving way to make more money off of collectors. I don’t see any kids purchasing this guy. I’ve seen a few pull Lando off the pegs though. 

Figures from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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